Wallpaper Seam Repair
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This page covers the guidelines for wallpaper seam repairs.  The materials and techniques discussed, work on most types of wallpaper.  Certain wallpapers require specialized techniques and may require the services of a wallcovering specialist.

This is a paper-backed vinyl that has been on the wall about five years. Installed using clay wallpaper paste over Professional Vinyl Prep. The sprayed on "builder's flat" paint underneath it all eventually failed as the vinyl dried out, shrunk and tugged at the seams.
1. Relax the vinyl surface by going over the wallpaper with a generous amount of hot water two or three times. This will allow the wallpaper to relax and become more flexible.
2. Thin Professional Vinyl over Vinyl (VOV) wallpaper adhesive, with water, to a creamy consistency. Work it into the seams by brushing back and forth across the seams with a paint brush. Alternately, you could use border adhesive or other brand of "over vinyl" wallpaper adhesive.
2a.  Where possible, work the brush under the wallpaper to get the VOV as far into the loose areas as possible.  Notice the bare drywall in the photo.  The surface tension of the wallpaper had pulled the paint right off the drywall.
3.  A seam roller also works the paste under the loose material. Use back and  forth & up and down motions.  At this point, you'll have a big swath of VOV up and down the seam area.
4.  Use a wallpaper smoother to skim the excess wallpaper adhesive off the facing of the wallpaper, bottom to top.
5.  Wash your wall well.  You don't want to end up with a film of non-removable VOV when everything dries. Towel dry any excess moisture.
6.  At this point, the material should have returned back to its original size and shape.  You can use a heat gun or blow dryer and a seam roller to get the VOV to grab everything and stick in place.  If you're unfamiliar with heat guns, use caution, heat can melt the vinyl coating on wallpaper.  Follow up with a cool sponge to set the repair.
7.  These are pastel chalks, very handy for coloring seams.  There are numerous other tricks used to hide seams from acrylic paints found in hobby stores to watercolors.
8.  Any seam area that don't close properly, or that ends up with a slight overlap, can be made virtually undetectable by rubbing pastel chalk back and forth across the seam.  The chalk will fall into gaps, or will be picked up by any protruding edges.
9.  Use a slightly moist rag to wipe down the seam.  The pastel chalk will stick to the seam where it needs to be.
10.  This was the worst seam, a wavy double cut under the window and right over the baseboard heater.  It had opened up to an eighth of an inch and was as brittle as plastic.  Where is it now?  It should take approximately 30 minutes per seam.

Information and photography used on this page graciously provided by Cliff Hayes.

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